Valeria Sanchez-Jimenez was born in Mexico City and moved to the United States with her parents and younger brother at the age of eight. Since then, other than the two years when she returned to Mexico City in middle school, she has lived her whole life in Tacoma and the unique Puyallup Watershed. In this place that she calls home, Valeria counts among her formational experiences the opportunities to engage with the Tacoma Youth Symphony and with Hilltop Urban Gardens, where she continues to engage as audience member and volunteer, respectively. After graduating from Stadium High School, Valeria attended Pomona College in Claremont, CA, where she studied in the Environmental Analysis, Philosophy, Economics, and Politics departments. Ultimately, she settled on a degree in Theater after having sustained an injury, in which somatic (body and movement) work was instrumental to help heal. Valeria was also involved in the college’s immigrant affinity peer support group and pro-immigrant rights club, and on the Student Government’s Food and Environmental Committees.
After graduating from Pomona College in December 2019, Valeria returned to Tacoma to study Materials Engineering at Tacoma Community College, to work in her family’s housekeeping business, and to help in the education of her beloved seven-year-old sister who is beginning elementary school at Whitman elementary. Valeria is considering her options for the future while continuing to engage with causes that matter to her (environmental, social, and political justice; equity in arts; community self-determination within a complex larger system) in a community that nurtured her and in which she is very invested.